A Q&A with Wear The Future Founder, Annabelle Azadé

Here & There talks with Los Angeles-based Wear The Future’s founder Annabelle Azadé, about how she is making a change in the fashion industry by representing international visionary designers with an environmentally-friendly ethos.

What brought you to L.A?

L.A has all it takes to be happy: a rich cultural diversity and business-minded entrepreneurs who always have innovative ideas and are always looking for new ways to bring fashion to the next level. L.A did not attract me for its fashion but more for its light, its nature which is so inspiring for creativity!

How was Wear the Future born?

 

It took me eight years to set up Wear the Future. Back in 2012-2013, I interned for Marie Saeki PR and discovered the world of PR in a buzzy and luxury niche fashion industry in New York. The showroom was based right across the Empire State Building, which was a wonderful experience! Marie’s brands are top French luxury labels sold at Bergdorf Goodman and Henri Bendel.

 

Henri Bendel was the first store where a “fashion show” happened per se about a century ago. It was a real honour to work and discover the fashion industry with this experience. I was only 23 years old but started to realize I really wanted to start my own business one day.

What does this fashion industry evolution mean to you?

 

I think that the main difference between then and now is that people are looking for quality products, even if the brand is not famous. Back in the 2010s, people were still infused with the “Sex and the City” crazy shopping craze fever; no matter how many bags, shoes or dresses, you had to get the newest ones and follow a trend. Ten years later, with dramatic climate changes and an unprecedented pandemic, fashion experts have noticed a drastic shift in the way people consume. They want to wear their values, so whether they are vegan - which is a trend that was barely there ten years ago - or zero waste, or just want to buy from designers who consume “locally”, things have just changed.

 

Chanel and Dior are not the go-to luxury stores that they used to be for Western clients. In Asia and the Middle East, they are still doing pretty well. African consumers are focused on sustainable and locally handcrafted products.

Do you think that the fashion industry will evolve more quickly with the current situation? (With people coming back to me eco-friendly and local creators)

 

I hope so, but who knows… We say that at least 40-50% of the retail stores we know of are going to disappear within a year, so this might be a really big challenge for lots of fashion experts. I really hope that people will start willing to understand the Earth has limited resources and we really need to use them at best.

How do you curate the designers you work with?

I only represent conscious designers with a social impact; it doesn’t need to be vegan or 100% “one speciality”, I have a really sharp eye so, for me, the designs matter, too. I really love boho chic and happy colors.

Who are the three designers you represent, that we should keep an eye on?

•   Alterre NY: a sustainable shoe designer

•   Uye Surana: inclusive sustainable handmade lingerie

•   House of Geneva: a luxury jewellery Maison where all designs are handmade

 

What’s next for Wear the Future?

We have launched a marketplace earlier this year to respond to small designers' emergencies to increase sales and are going to launch an incubator and fashion events in Hawaii, Austin and again in New York Fashion Week—we were there last year—when we have the authorizations.

Words by Alexa Bouhelier-Ruelle

Photos by Matthias Carette

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